It’s Not About Escape

It’s Not About Escape

This poem is not about my parents
creaking, fighting, beating the actuarial tables
at ninety years each.
It’s not about how much I love them or hate them
or how I can’t rise above the pain handed out on platters
so heavy I finally had to let go and slouch away.
It’s not about my brother and sister,
two broken puzzles scrambled in tatty cardboard boxes,
both still echoing red leftovers of parental fear fifty years on.
My trajectory was always up, away from sizzling light bulb love,
the kind that burns off wings and drops you crawling.
No, this is not about how I cannot save them
flightless and scarred, still looking for that toxic molasses high.
I can’t deny the pull, I listen to them all,
an endless buzzing loop of tears and repercussions.
This poem is not about how I got to be the family archangel
when all I want to do with this flaming sword
is cut a hole in the sky, spread white wings
and fly forever into the quiet blue
just me, the sun and the wind.

A note of explanation: My brother called this week, out of the blue. I no longer speak to my family of origin if I can help it. The cycle of insanity they live in is one I choose to leave behind. It makes me sad but it makes me healthy. It reminded me of this piece I wrote two years ago about my family. Sometimes, things really don’t change…


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